Leigh Woods

Leigh Woods is one of Bristol’s most popular stomping grounds for dog walkers. It is the biggest area of woodland in Bristol, covering a 2 square kilometre area and dogs absolutely love it here!

Half of the woodland is owned by the National Trust, who ask dogs to be on lead (where the old fort is and the Clifton Suspension Bridge viewpoint). The other half is owned by Forestry England, who are happy to have dogs off lead. The boundary border is the stone wall in the middle of the woodland.

Starting at the car park – there are a few routes you and your pup can follow – the purple route takes about 45 mins and the red trail takes approximately 30 mins. I would avoid the blue route, as this is a cycle path and can become very busy. Follow the routes through the varied woodland – great for a bit of cover on rainy days, just remember to put your wellies on in winter! Or you can create your own walk and follow the woods around until you reach the stunning panoramic view of Clifton Suspension Bridge.

There are usually Red Devon cattle grazing in the warmer months, but they are very easy going and dogs usually aren’t bothered by them (although they may be curious at first). Please keep dogs on lead in this part of the woodland.

For a really lovely walk with pools for dogs to swim in (our favourite walk here), make sure you visit Paradise Bottom, which has 3 swimmable pools, redwoods, bluebells and wild garlic. Paradise Bottom used to have its own car park, but it closed in June 2020, and is now a private road.

Since July 2020, Forestry Commission England has started charging for parking. There is an option to buy an annual visitor pass.


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The history

‘Rich in memories from the Iron Age family home, through to the 19th century landscape design and the introduction of tree species such as the Giant Redwood, Weymouth Pine and Noble Fir. Leigh Woods was also key in supplying wood for the second world war effort, and played an important role helping people through a time of great conflict.’

National Trust


Abbots Leigh


Since July 2020, Forestry England has started charging for the car park (BS8 3QE), additionally, in 2022, North Somerset Council have installed pay and display machines on North Road 9am-9pm.

Paws for thought

There are usually Red Devon cattle grazing in the warmer months, but they are very easy going and dogs usually aren't bothered by them. Please keep dogs on a lead on this side of Leigh Woods as it is run by The National Trust.

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